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AMERICA'S FIRST WOMAN INDUSTRIALIST HONORED: JAN. 6 PROCLAIMED REBECCA LUKENS DAY

 COATESVILLE, Pa., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Rebecca W. Lukens, America's first woman industrialist, will be honored on Jan. 6, 1994, the bicentennial of her birthday.
 From 1825 to 1847, Mrs. Lukens was owner and chief executive officer of the R.W. Lukens & Company, one of the nation's first iron rolling mills. The firm eventually became Lukens Inc. (NYSE: LUC), a Fortune 500 specialty steel maker and America's oldest continuously operating steel mill.
 The Pennsylvania State Senate and Chester County Commissioners have proclaimed Jan. 6 as "Rebecca Lukens Day." A bicentennial ceremony will be held at the Lukens burial site in the Quaker Cemetery in Ercildoun at 10 a.m.
 Thrust through the glass ceiling of her day, Mrs. Lukens assumed leadership of the young company upon the death of her husband, Dr. Charles Lukens. Only 32 years old, she was left pregnant and grieving with four small children, a debt-ridden mill and unsettled title of ownership. With the backing of friends and family who rallied to her side, Mrs. Lukens quickly jumped into managing the business.
 "Necessity is a stern task mistress," she wrote. "My every want gave me courage."
 During the 22 years Mrs. Lukens managed the company, it became the nation's premier maker of boilerplate. With the steam age reaching its golden years, the business grew and prospered. Her company's accomplishments included rolling the iron plate for America's first ironclad vessel, the Codorus.
 "I look back and wonder at my daring," she wrote years later. "I had built a very superior mill, though a plain one, and our character for making boiler iron stood first in the market."
 Mrs. Lukens died in 1854, leaving a company that would continue her legacy of financial responsibility, manufacturing excellence and customer satisfaction.
 /delval/
 -0- 12/29/93
 /CONTACT: Rick Whitmyre of Lukens, 215-383-2504/
 (LUC)


CO: Lukens, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU:

JM -- PH009 -- 7812 12/29/93 13:34 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 29, 1993
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